Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part 1

The Brave And The Bold 23

by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund

The team of Jurgens and Rapmund have accompanied Booster Gold over to this title for an encounter with Magog. It would have fit right in with the regular series, but the time-travel component of Booster’s life makes him a perfect candidate for a rotating cast of team-ups in B&B. I have to say, Jurgens has grown as both writer and artist, and his work with Booster is some of my favorite stuff of his.

Rip Hunter shows up unconscious, grasping the shield part of Superman’s uniform from Kingdom Come, and muttering Magog’s name. Rip calls Booster off the hunt fast from the future, but Booster decides to check out this guy in the present. We cut to a modern scene of hostage-taking and terrorism, and Magog, who happens to be a former marine, is a take-no-prisoners kind of guy. We get a peek into two very different viewpoints, as Booster spots the innocents that might have been killed due to Magog’s shortsightedness, while Magog takes a very hard attitude towards killers, treating every situation more like a war than anything else, where killing and maiming is acceptable.

It’s a team-up only in the loosest sense of the word, but the tension between the two feels real, and that’s a high complement to pay for some pieces of paper held together by a couple staples. Rip calls Booster off yet again, insisting Magog has to be left untampered, so he can perform important, life-saving functions. It’s another dreadful hint of the possibility that the future of Kingdom Come might still hold true for this universe. Good stuff!

Outsiders 18

by Peter Tomasi and Lee Garbett

The main point for the beginning is to link the meteor that gave Vandal Savage his powers to the Orb of Ra that also transformed Metamorpho. With that established, they work out a way to track other meteor pieces. Conveniently, there’s only one above surface, while Creeper mutters in a non-funny way in every background. Creeper is being misused, and it’s a waste of the reader’s time, and a waste of Creeper himself. It doesn’t even work as comedic relief. And since when did Metamorpho still need to eat anything?

We do get a cool scene of Alfred facing off against Deathstroke, and we know the history Geo-Force has with Slade, but the plot is moving forward at a glacial pace, and we don’t get to see enough of the true opposition. The art is good enough to read, but not worthy of any special mention. The story is drawn out, and losing my interest. When all you can do is establish your next location and show up, that means Jack Kirby is turning over in his grave at what he could have done with the same number of pages.

Secret Six 9

by Gail Simone and Nicola Scott

At last, this title finally turns good! It was my last chance, as eight issues of less-than-average is usually enough for me to say goodbye. Instead of six, the cast is only three. Bane and Catman are pitching in to help Gotham City, out of respect for Batman, which might actually fit in with the psyche of both of these guys. Funny but inconsistent at the same time, Bane yells out that he may have “broken” the baby he was trying to save. Weird for him to claim he doesn’t know how to take care of a baby, when he spent all that time being a father-figure to Scandal the last six months.

Ragdoll is pervertedly (new word!) dressed up like Robin and cracking crowbar jokes, and he steals the show, the entire issue. He is delightfully twisted, in both word and deed (and shape). The banter between Bane and Catman is stretched, as each accuses the other of wanting to fill the Batman’s shoes. As buddy-banter goes, it feels awkward, but better than most dialogue I’ve been reading from this crew lately. Interesting that Catman holds the viewpoint that he will decide if and when Bane dies, as if he is in charge, and can decide his fate. In a poor redundancy, Bane uses a similar phrase to express that he won’t bleed out unless he permits it, talking about his own wounds.

The ending is the best, with Nightwing showing up, and letting the villains slide on out, quickly being able to discern that they were trying to help. This avoids the cliché misunderstanding followed by a pointless fight, which most writers would have used at this point. Catman’s response, showing his own version of morality, and his contempt for the heroes who would judge him, rings very true and realistic. Ragdoll steals the show again and rattles off perverted phrases. This is the first time I have felt good about picking up this book. If it stays like this, that will be a big change of pace. Nicola Scott’s art lends the reader to read the story seamlessly, but it’s also worth going back to admire the way the character compositions are laid out, and the variety of poses captured by Ragdoll, and to a lesser extent, the others.

Supergirl 41

by Sterling Gates and Fernando Dagnino

Lucy Lane has been revealed as Superwoman, but she’s not giving enough information out to satisfy Supergirl as to why she would do all these things. Reactron shows up to help Superwoman out, but he falls to a simple bullet, and Supergirl finally gets a clue to rip up the equipment in the suit that makes Lucy super.

The real attraction of this story is the confidence General Lane expresses for his daughter, and his subtle grief upon the shock of realizing he made the wrong call. The suit destroyed, Lucy disappears in a warp of distortion. Is she really dead? Dagnino concentrates mostly on the characters themselves, so there isn’t a lot of background detail, but truth be told, the story flows well, and I was more interested in trying to piece together Lucy’s motivations and see what would happen. Gates has successfully inserted enough mystery to make me eager to find out what happens next.

Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.